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Atlas Restaurant Group is expected to reach a milestone of employing over 1,000 people by the end of the year with the opening of new concepts in Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
The company has started hiring for all positions at the restaurants, said Atlas President Alex Smith, which includes everything from hostesses and dishwashers to general managers and sous-chefs. The new employees will staff seafood restaurant The Choptank in Fells Point, which is set to open in mid- to late-August, two concepts in D.C.’s new Moxy hotel and Maximón — a Latin American-inspired restaurant at Harbor East’s Four Seasons Hotel.
Smith also announced the hiring of Maximón’s Executive Chef, Colin King, who is coming to Baltimore from his position as the director of culinary operations with New York restaurant group Empellon. There, he oversees operations of four Mexican-inspired restaurants and about 80 to 100 employees.
King, 38, said he’s always enjoyed Baltimore and will be moving with his wife whose family is located in the area. He added that he’s looking forward to being part of “what seems to be a real resurgence of the food scene in Baltimore.”
“When the opportunity came up it was a natural fit for us to come home and do something that is a great opportunity and seems like it’ll be a lot of fun,” King said.
He first became interested in Mexican cuisine when he had the opportunity to work at Oyamel Cocina Mexicana in Washington, D.C. At Maximón, he hopes to expand his skill set to include Central and South American dishes and styles.
Maximón, as well as the two D.C. spots, will open this fall in late October or early November, Smith said.
Crews are completing construction of the 275-seat indoor and outdoor crab house and fish restaurant located in Broadway Market’s south shed. The upscale eatery will debut several months after the market’s north shed reopened after a $3.2 million overhaul.
With the addition of the Choptank and Maximón, Smith said the company will have just over 800 employees in Baltimore alone. He added that he and his brother Eric Smith feel like they are “making a difference” in the city by employing so many people at wages above minimum wage.
“These are full-time employees, people who are buying houses and who have families and are taking care of kid here,” he said.
Sous-chefs at Atlas restaurants make around $50,000 to $55,000 annually to start Smith said, and general or assistant general managers typically have salaries between $65,000 and $85,000. Hostesses and dishwashers are paid around $13 to $15 per hour, with line cooks making a little more at a $15 to $18 hourly rate, depending on experience. Servers and bartenders earn the majority of their pay through tips.
Atlas restaurants include Ouzo Bay and Ouzo Beach, Loch Bar, Tagliata and the Bygone, among others.
By the end of 2019 the company’s total employee count will be about 1,100, Smith said, which includes two restaurants in Texas and one in Florida. Atlas previously had two concepts in South Florida’s Mizner Park, a Loch Bar and Ouzo Bay, but closed Ouzo Bay last month and plans to relocate the restaurant to Miami.
By: Carley Milligan | July 15, 2019